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Thread: Are amplifiers worth it

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    Default Are amplifiers worth it

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    I have a Denon 1611 receiver and wanted to know if I would benefit from having a 5 channel amplifier like Emotiva UPA 500? I am new to amps but I hear I need to connect it to my receiver.
    What is the advantage of having an amp?
    Will I be able to notice a difference in sound?

    My current receiver cannot be connected to an amp, so is it best for me to upgrade to a high end receiver that has more power and do without the amp or should I upgrade to a receiver that an amp can be connected to and get the amp?

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    I think your question will make others ask more questions. What speaker setup do you have? How big is your listening area? How much time do you spend listening to music...etc. Are you unhappy with your current AVR?
    Denon AVR-X4000 * Harmony ONE
    Klipsch RF-82 II front * RC3 center * RP3 surrounds * KEF HTS1001 rear
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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Generally, a dedicated amp is going to have more HP per channel which is a great thing. If you are like me and have efficient speakers with a 135x7 AVR, a 100x7 Amp may offer very little. A 200x7 amp gives gobs of headroom if you listen loud.

    Plenty of factors weigh in on the decision.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by GOS View Post
    I think your question will make others ask more questions. What speaker setup do you have? How big is your listening area? How much time do you spend listening to music...etc. Are you unhappy with your current AVR?
    My listening area is 4500 cf. I have a 5.1 set up in ceiling. I watch movies more and I do not listen at reference levels.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Thats a big room. How far are you from your speakers? Ive done the calcs, with help from an HT guy, and it was figured I only needed 100W per speaker to reach high db's at my listening position. This 809, as tested, gives me more than I can handle on a loud movie, and it sounds clean to me. I think those are things to consider, dont just buy an amp to buy one.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Whiddon View Post
    Thats a big room. How far are you from your speakers? Ive done the calcs, with help from an HT guy, and it was figured I only needed 100W per speaker to reach high db's at my listening position. This 809, as tested, gives me more than I can handle on a loud movie, and it sounds clean to me. I think those are things to consider, dont just buy an amp to buy one.
    The speakers are in ceiling and the mains are around 10 feet from me and 7.5 high. I am actually looking at getting the 709 or 809 receiver. Do you like/use THX and does the 809 have Dolby Volume?
    Last edited by asere; 10-31-2012 at 10:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    I wouldn't buy an AVR for THX modes or Dolby Volume my self. I say this because I have done this, and switched to an H/K AVR that had no bells and whistles, and I loved the sound much more. Now this may not be the case for everyone, but it was for me! So how much money do you have for an upgrade for your sound?? What price bracket are your speakers in?? Can you post the model numbers of them, or even a link to some specs?? Like I said in the other thread I don't know much about your speakers, but I just want to make sure that they would not be the weak point in your setup.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    Default Are amplifiers worth it

    Keep in mind that AVR power ratings are for 2 channels driven. So case in point, Jason's Onkyo is pushing 135 watts when 2 speakers are being used. It is significantly less when running 5 or 7.

    Prob around 50-60 based on other receivers. With a dedicated amp you will actually get 100x7 or whatever it's rated at.
    I own some stuff.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Batman View Post
    Keep in mind that AVR power ratings are for 2 channels driven. So case in point, Jason's Onkyo is pushing 135 watts when 2 speakers are being used. It is significantly less when running 5 or 7.

    Prob around 50-60 based on other receivers. With a dedicated amp you will actually get 100x7 or whatever it's rated at.
    True, but it varies by manufacturer.

    This particular amp in the Onkyo was tested at: 116x5 and 86x7
    In my opinion, I do not currently need an amp. Hell, with the right speakers, 116x5 from the AVR is plenty, others would need more.

    The Marantz it replaces (110x2 rated) tested out at 75x5. Huge drop.

    If you just compare 2 channels driven vs 5, on both, The SR6005 was likely sending 90-100wpc to 3 speakers, where the Onkyo is 120-130wpc. In my opinion, I do not currently need an amp because of the speakers and setup I have (Klipsch 3.1 system).

    Marantz/Denon see a much bigger drop, which is where I agree with Jeff that onkyo is offering one of the better AVR amps out there right now. Of course once again, they can't compete with dedicated, but some would have you think you need a separate amp regardless, and I disagree here. This 809 can give me more than I can take at close to reference volume, so I dont need any more. When I can go to 5.1 or 7.1, an amp is on my radar, like the 100x7 Outlaw I was going to buy.

    All of this is more detail than needed I guess, im just getting to the point that there are several factors involved with whether an amp is a worthy investment at the time.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by caliberconst. View Post
    I wouldn't buy an AVR for THX modes or Dolby Volume my self. I say this because I have done this, and switched to an H/K AVR that had no bells and whistles, and I loved the sound much more. Now this may not be the case for everyone, but it was for me! So how much money do you have for an upgrade for your sound?? What price bracket are your speakers in?? Can you post the model numbers of them, or even a link to some specs?? Like I said in the other thread I don't know much about your speakers, but I just want to make sure that they would not be the weak point in your setup.
    I agree with that, I see no point to THX mode or Dolby volume/late night. I have all of that cut off. I dont even use Audyssey Dynamic EQ or Dynamic Volume.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Whiddon View Post
    I agree with that, I see no point to THX mode or Dolby volume/late night. I have all of that cut off. I dont even use Audyssey Dynamic EQ or Dynamic Volume.
    What is it that you don't like about Dynamic EQ? I can't remember but can you leave Mult EQ on if Dynamic EQ is off?

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Whiddon View Post
    True, but it varies by manufacturer.

    This particular amp in the Onkyo was tested at: 116x5 and 86x7
    In my opinion, I do not currently need an amp. Hell, with the right speakers, 116x5 from the AVR is plenty, others would need more.

    The Marantz it replaces (110x2 rated) tested out at 75x5. Huge drop.

    If you just compare 2 channels driven vs 5, on both, The SR6005 was likely sending 90-100wpc to 3 speakers, where the Onkyo is 120-130wpc. In my opinion, I do not currently need an amp because of the speakers and setup I have (Klipsch 3.1 system).

    Marantz/Denon see a much bigger drop, which is where I agree with Jeff that onkyo is offering one of the better AVR amps out there right now. Of course once again, they can't compete with dedicated, but some would have you think you need a separate amp regardless, and I disagree here. This 809 can give me more than I can take at close to reference volume, so I dont need any more. When I can go to 5.1 or 7.1, an amp is on my radar, like the 100x7 Outlaw I was going to buy.

    All of this is more detail than needed I guess, im just getting to the point that there are several factors involved with whether an amp is a worthy investment at the time.
    I agree with that statement too!! Most of the time adding an outboard amp is just the next step in a growing audio sytstem. I will say that I added an adcom gfa-535 (60wx2 which actually bench tested at more like 80wx2) to my Onkyo 806 135w avr and it made a very noticeable difference IMO. It just seemed like the overall sound was just cleaner, the highs just cleaned up and the mid range seemed to have allot more oomph to it. I did allot of swapping back and forth between the two and me and others all agreed that the sound was cleaner with more punch.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by asere View Post
    What is it that you don't like about Dynamic EQ? I can't remember but can you leave Mult EQ on if Dynamic EQ is off?
    I can't speak for Jason, but for me the less signal manipulation the better!! These things alter the signal and can do some funky things to the sound. Now I will say that I did enjoy Dynamic EQ for lower volume listening, but I would never run out and buy an AVR based on that.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by asere View Post
    What is it that you don't like about Dynamic EQ? I can't remember but can you leave Mult EQ on if Dynamic EQ is off?
    Yes. Multi EQ is the room EQ that most people really like about Audyssey. Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume are processing for lower than reference volume
    and for volume fluctuations/dynamic range compression respectively. They are extra processing layers you can add, but are not required to be used at all.

    http://www.audyssey.com/audio-technology/dynamic-eq
    http://www.audyssey.com/audio-technology/dynamic-volume

    Though I do find Dynamic EQ to be helpful, since practically no one listens at reference volume (click for more information on reference level), unless you have a dedicated theater and always want your sound as loud as a movie theater all the time.
    https://audyssey.zendesk.com/entries...eference-level

    I also leave Dynamic Volume enabled for my cable box input on my receiver since commercials have some pretty wild swings in volume.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by caliberconst. View Post
    I wouldn't buy an AVR for THX modes or Dolby Volume my self. I say this because I have done this, and switched to an H/K AVR that had no bells and whistles, and I loved the sound much more. Now this may not be the case for everyone, but it was for me! So how much money do you have for an upgrade for your sound?? What price bracket are your speakers in?? Can you post the model numbers of them, or even a link to some specs?? Like I said in the other thread I don't know much about your speakers, but I just want to make sure that they would not be the weak point in your setup.
    Here are the speaker specs for C605 for Left, Right and Surrounds

    Description 6½" Two-Way
    Ceiling Speakers
    Unit of Measure Pair
    Woofers 6½" Polypropylene
    Tweeters Fixed ¾" Soft Dome
    Power Handling 75 Watts
    Frequency Response 45Hz-20kHz
    Sensitivity 90dB 1W/
    Impedance 8 Ω
    Dimensions Diameter 9¼" x Depth 35⁄8"
    Cut Out Dimesions Diameter 8¼"
    Warranty 10-Year Limited


    Here are the specs for Center C660
    6 1/2 inch
    125 WATTS
    Frequency Response 35 hz-22khz
    Sensitivity 92db
    Impedance 8 ohms

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by caliberconst. View Post
    I can't speak for Jason, but for me the less signal manipulation the better!! These things alter the signal and can do some funky things to the sound. Now I will say that I did enjoy Dynamic EQ for lower volume listening, but I would never run out and buy an AVR based on that.
    When its on, the bass/midbass in the fronts and sub dont seem to match the center to me. Unless someone is on the phone, mines always at a pretty good volume anyways, I dont need something that tells me it's doing a good job at keeping bass response proper at lower levels. Ive not used Dyn EQ in a long time.

    A lot of the way I did things in the past, changed when I went from a small center, bookshelfs and a cruddy sub, to what I have now. I just dont feel the system needs enhancements.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Whiddon View Post
    A lot of the way I did things in the past, changed when I went from a small center, bookshelfs and a cruddy sub, to what I have now. I just dont feel the system needs enhancements.
    I'd believe that. A better speaker with better frequency range, etc. could make a real difference. As an apartment dweller I have smaller speakers and of course I also find lower volume listening modes a must.

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    Thats kinda where I was at too (apartments).

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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it

    No matter what the reality is....I personally will not be happy until I get a dedicated amp. Just because of the cool factor.
    Denon AVR-X4000 * Harmony ONE
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    Default Re: Are amplifiers worth it


    Quote Originally Posted by GOS View Post
    No matter what the reality is....I personally will not be happy until I get a dedicated amp. Just because of the cool factor.

    Gos this is the amp for you, trust me it will make you the coolest guy on the board!!









    I don't know I think it is all hype, it is only rated at 12,000 watts not sure if that would do it for you or not.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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